Veterinary Care for Pet Rabbits
Rabbits have a lot in common with more familiar pets, such as cats and dogs, but they are different in a few important ways. Here at Pleasant View Veterinary Clinic in Lewistown and Juniata Veterinary Clinic in Mifflintown, we can help you keep your pet rabbit in good health for their happy life with you!
Basic Rabbit Care
Rabbit care is not difficult, but it looks a little different than most people imagine. Rabbits need a clean, dry, comfortable indoor place to live. Living outdoors is dangerous and many outdoor rabbits are injured or killed by predators. Most commercial cages are too small to make good rabbit homes, but extra-large wire dog crates and wire exercise pens designed for dogs make great rabbit homes.
Spayed or neutered rabbits are easily litter box trained, but they should be provided with paper pulp, wood pellet, or other natural litter rather than clay, which sticks to their fur and may cause them to eat it. The bulk of your rabbit's diet should be hay and fresh vegetables, combined with a measured amount of rabbit feed pellets.
Most rabbits do not like to be held and carried; they feel unsafe with their feet off the floor and may kick or bite. This can make them a bad choice for a small child's pet. Responsible older children, who can respect their rabbit and interact mostly on the ground can make great rabbit owners, though.
Veterinary Care for Rabbits
Visiting the veterinarian is just as important for your rabbit as it is for your other pets. Rabbits do not require routine vaccinations like dogs or cats, but they still benefit from preventative care. Pet rabbits should be spayed or neutered in order to avoid behavioral issues such as spraying, as well as health issues such as uterine cancer, which is common in un-spayed older females.
Some rabbits have teeth that do not meet exactly, and they can develop spurs or grow too long. In these cases, your rabbit may need their teeth filed or clipped, either once or on a regular basis. Sometimes, our veterinarian can teach you how to do this yourself.
Because of the way that their digestive system works, it is an emergency if your rabbit refuses to eat for more than a few hours. Rabbits are a prey species, so they are great at disguising their discomfort and pain. In the wild, this helps them avoid being targeted by predators that would see them as weak. However, in the home, this prevents caring owners from realizing that their pets are unwell. To help avoid this, learn what normal behavior looks like for your rabbit, and keep an eye out for any abnormal behaviors.
Bring Your Rabbit to Our Veterinarian
Rabbits make great pets for the right person. They have all of the personality of a dog or cat, which quickly becomes apparent to those who share their homes with these furry little critters. Our veterinarian here at Pleasant View and Juniata Veterinary Clinics in Lewistown and Mifflintown can be reached at (717) 248-4703 (Pleasant View) or (717) 436-9790 (Juniata).